When you’re sudsing up your strands, you may think you’re treating your scalp to a regular, necessary routine. Commercials tell us that, too; in fact, the common saying, “lather, rinse, repeat” has become a household saying.
But what if that shampoo and conditioner on the shelf is actually contributing to our pattern baldness problem?
Some believe that many popular hair care products contain a laundry list of ingredients that can exacerbate the thinning of hair. Know what to look for next time you’re shopping, and don’t be afraid to question a company’s marketing efforts. As it turns out, even the shampoos advertising themselves as gentle enough for a baby, can contain these culprits. Take “No More Tears,” the Johnson & Johnson baby staple, for example; although gentle on the eyes, this formula (prior to a recent reformulation) contained a formaldehyde-releasing preservative used to prolong shelf life. While the amounts used weren’t harmful to overall health, they caused an unwanted side effect. They were proven to lead to both hormonal imbalances and sparser scalps.
Most of us can’t help but love the lather. After all, soap and suds are synonymous with cleanliness.
But in recent years, sulfates have gotten a bad rap; not only for their effects on the environment, but also for their damage to dyed or delicate manes. Sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate – the surfactants you’ll find listed on the labels of most economical shampoos – are responsible for producing those large, lovely bubbles. But, did you know that they can cause damage to the hair follicles and even lead to shedding? According to a study conducted by the Journal of the American College of Toxicology, these ingredients are considered irritants at levels of 2 percent. Take a moment to consider that most drugstore shampoos contain these ingredients in an excess of 20 percent.
For most, a watery shampoo would be considered cheap or ineffective. To ensure a rich lather and the illusion of high quality, many brands beef up their formulas with sodium chloride. This is the chemical name for table salt. If you’ve ever taken a dunk in the ocean, you’re probably familiar with that crunchy, dry feeling hair strands take on after a dip. Avoid shampoos containing sodium chloride, as they can lead to a parched, itchy scalp (the opposite of what you want when cleansing), plus the potential for hair loss.
Before you consider skipping the suds altogether, contemplate the many viable options out there.
Your hair transplant surgeon or dermatologist can recommend several alternatives that will thicken hair and prevent additional breakage. For starters, skip the 2-in-1s; while they can be a real time-saver, they contain a host of ingredients that stay behind in residue long after you rinse. In turn, this can obstruct the growth of new hair.
Many brands – including the cost-effective competitors, have hopped aboard the sulfate-free train, introducing lines of paraben- and sulfate-free products to help you grow healthier tresses. If you can, opt for a certified organic shampoo (which is typically tested to ensure purity). Take your hair care a step further by selecting a shampoo that combats breakage, while promoting regrowth. Brands such as ArtNaturals and PureBiology contain a host of ingredients such as biotin, keratin, and DHT blockers to stop thinning, breakage, and hair loss.
Meet with a qualified professional who can access your scalp situation. If you’re practicing good hair care but are still suffering from persistent pattern baldness, you may be a candidate for hair restoration.
The doctors and surgeons at Maxim Hair Restoration have performed thousands of successful hair transplant procedures and will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome. See the difference a rejuvenated scalp can make. Visit www.maximhairrestoration.com for more information, and to find the location nearest you.